If you love cats but they bring out you in a rash or make you sneeze, not all is lost. Knowing what cats are hypoallergenic allow you to pick a breed you can safely live with. Allergies are common, but there are types of cats that will lessen the chance of an allergic reaction.
Though many people believe it’s fur they’re allergic to, it’s actually a protein known as Fel d that’s secreted in the cat’s skin and saliva which causes the problem. If you have an allergy to cats you don’t necessarily need a hairless kitty as you’ll see from this article. Keep reading as I share with you six breeds of hypoallergenic cats you’ll fall in love with. You’ll discover a little bit about each breed, and what makes them an ideal pet for allergy sufferers.
Though a totally hypoallergenic cat doesn’t exist, the sphynx comes close. As it ranges from having very fine hair to being totally hairless there’s far less chance of allergens flying around. Much of the problem is dander which carries these tiny microscopic proteins from the skin. You may still get an allergic reaction though by stroking the cat, or if it licks you.
If you’re considering adopting a sphynx after reading this you’ll need to be prepared for a bit of work. Despite their lack of fur, sphynx are high maintenance kitties. Their friendly nature will soon win you over, even though at first sight you may be put off by their appearance
This beautiful, friendly breed are an ideal choice if you suffer from allergies. Though at first sight with it’s thick, luxurious coat, you may think the russian blue is the worst possible option. However, as it’s a low shedding cat, less fur is blown around which means less dander.
The coat hairs on a russian blue don’t lie flat to the skin like most other breeds, but stand at a 45 degree angle. In addition, there are far more hairs per square inch than many other breeds. This could be one of the reasons why less allergens are shed, as most would be trapped in the dense hair close to the skin.
This isn’t to say you won’t get any symptoms, but they’ll probably be milder. In addition, the russian blue produces less of the protein Fel D 1, responsible for triggering most allergic reactions. You’ll still need to clean your home regularly to avoid any allergens, and this includes your pet’s bedding.
Anyone suffering from an allergy to cats would be forgiven for thinking a siberian kitty couldn’t be a worse of pet! It’s long, thick coat looks to be the perfect home for pesky allergens. However, the good news is many of this breed produce low levels of Fel D 1. The bad news is, not all siberians are the same. In particular, those with silver tipped coats produce higher levels, with males producing far greater amounts.
If you’re an allergy sufferer and have your heart set on a siberian cat, you’ll need to ask your breeder if you can handle the parent. As long as your allergy isn’t severe or life threatening, picking up and holding the cat is a good idea. As genes are passed on to the litter, if you have no reaction to the mother you should be ok. Also, make sure to choose a female as they tend to produce lower levels of Fel D 1. This rule actually applies to all cats, no matter what breed.
The devon rex has a short, curly coat and considered fairly hypoallergenic. This is due to the fact they have less fur, and shed less than many other breeds. However, there’s no evidence to suggest they produce less allergy triggering proteins. Encouragingly though, many have found they can live with a devon rex, although this isn’t always the case.
This short hair oriental breed produces lower levels of Fel d 1. This is good news if you’re allergic to animals, and burmese cats make wonderful pets. As with other breeds less likely to cause an allergic reaction, there’s no guarantee you’ll be ok. The only way to find out is by being in the company of a burmese cat for a short while.
This is another oriental breed that produces less Fel d. Balinese cats are related to siamese, with medium length hair, and share many of their characteristics.
Well, there you have six breeds of cat that may be a good choice if you suffer an allergic reaction to Fel d. Interestingly, many people with allergies find dogs less of a problem. It’s been found that twice as many people suffer from allergies to cats than dogs. In addition, dog allergens don’t spread around as much as those produced by cats.
Keeping your cat allergy under control
Whether you’ve had an allergy for years or recently developed one, you can find ways of keeping it under control. Of course, the obvious answer is not to get a cat, but if you have a passion for them, at least opting for one less likely to affect you is a good start.
Apart from the hairless sphynx, grooming your kitty regularly will help remove dead skin and loose hair. This will help cut down on any allergens floating around in the air. As for the sphynx, they need to be bathed often to remove any dead skin.
Clean your home daily by dusting surfaces and vacuuming floors. Dander from a cat’s fur can become embedded in furnishings and carpets, so it’s important to give your home a deep clean once every week. Using a pet vacuum helps reduce allergens, but you must clean the filters regularly.
Stubborn dander can be hard to remove from carpets, and giving them a steam clean every few months can do the trick. The same applies to sofas and curtains.
Keep your home well ventilated and open the windows for at least an hour each day if possible. This will help keep allergens from settling. Also, consider an air purifier as they’re designed to eliminate irritants.
If you suffer severe flare ups you may find an antihistamine product such as Claritin works well. You’ll find plenty in your local pharmacy or online, but ask the pharmacist if you’re taking medication.
Some allergy sufferers claim continued exposure to cats builds up an immunity. However, though it may work in a few cases, don’t rely on it. Asthma can be life threatening, and if you have a moderate to severe allergy the best answer is avoid contact with cats altogether.
So, should you get a hypoallergenic cat?
Now you know what cats are hypoallergenic you could consider getting one as long as your symptoms are fairly mild. Though a truly hypoallergenic cat doesn’t exist, you may find you’re ok with one of the breeds outlined here. If it’s a family member that lives with who suffers, you’ll need to expose him or her to the cat before bringing it home.
Adopting a cat only to find a few months later that you have a severe reaction can be heartbreaking. As long as you or your affected partner can handle the cat for a short time, you should be fine. Make sure you pick the kitty up and spend time petting it. If all is well and you haven’t triggered an asthma attack or sneezing fit, chances are you’ll be fine.
Are allergy vaccines the latest miracle cure
A Swiss company is developing a vaccine which could put an end to the misery of cat allergies. Though in it’s early stages, successful trials have already been carried out. It’s cats that receive the vaccine, not humans, and works by targeting the protein Fel d 1. So if you’re reading this and are one of the unlucky 10% of population affected, hope may be on the horizon!
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Wishing you a purrfect day